Exercising the Mind and Controlling Anxiety

Headspace app stress manage mind exercise meditationA few years ago, whilst studying at university in London, I experienced a particularly difficult situation and found myself totally unprepared to cope with my own reactions and feelings towards the event. I tried counselling, I poured all my feelings out to a stranger in a coffee shop, spoke to friends, spent lots of money and often had a few too many drinks, but no matter how much I tried to escape my own mind, I was trapped.

Today, I’m still very much an anxious person by nature. I have a terrible phobia of flying, something I have been trying to battle with for a couple of years, I over-analyse most situations and I prepare myself for catastrophic scenarios after watching the news. Certainly these are not the makings of a relaxed and comfortable mind. Recently though, I was introduced to a playful little mobile app with the ability to drastically improve my lifestyle and help me control my over-imaginative mind, Headspace.

Founded by Andy Puddicombe, the Headspace goal is to encourage everyone to exercise their mind, whether it be on a daily basis or just once in a while. Having spent ten years on a journey around the world, including time spent as a Tibetan Buddhist Monk in Northern India and training with the Moscow State Circus, Andy has since published several books on the topic of meditation as well as numerous television appearances and the New York Times recently stated that ‘Andy Puddicombe is doing for meditation what Jamie Oliver has done for food‘. High praise indeed.

Having tried out the free Take-10 trial (10 sessions each lasting 10 minutes to introduce you to the app, the process of meditiation and the encouraging animations), I was quick to subscribe to the full version which unlocked hundreds of new mediation sessions ranging from mini SOS bursts to help calm a difficult situation to on-the-go sessions during a workout, sleeping or even eating. There are themed mediations including relationships, health and performance as well as one-off sessions lasting between 10 minutes to an hour. I’m even planning on taking it with me for future plane journeys so I’ll let you know how that goes!

Andy explains that Headspace is ‘like a gym membership for the mind‘ but I would disagree because, whilst I’m constantly looking for a million excuses to avoid my Tuesday evening boxing class, I actually really look forward to my morning meditation. I’m comforted by the fact that whatever situation I may find myself in, I can always take 3 minutes to clear my mind and suddenly nothing looks quite so dramatic!

If you think Headspace could help you too, I really recommend that you check out the website for full details and a very cute animated introduction.

Headspace app stress manage mind exercise meditation

Headspace app stress manage mind exercise meditation

Lunch at Le Fumoir

Le FumoirLunch at Le Fumoir has been on my to-do list ever since I arrived in Paris. Two years ago. With a reputation whispered amongst those in the know, the hipster-style, vintage-themed restaurant has become the stylish place to hang out in Paris for light snacks, work socials and Sunday brunch.

Despite it’s location right opposite the Musée du Louvre near the Rue de Rivoli, Le Fumoir has managed to avoid the tourist tag and is a definite favourite amongst the Parisian locals!

Fun, jazzy and as-laid-back-as-Paris-gets, Le Fumoir has the perfect balance of being cool and elegant without the ridiculous prices and pretentious ambiance that usually goes hand in hand with this kind of establishment. Discussing a client meeting with a colleague, it was easy to chat amongst the light music and animated chatter in the background and we both opted for sandwiches from the light snacks menu. Obviously with fresh lobster sandwich on the menu it was impossible to see anything else but I was still tempted by my colleague’s tartine of goat’s cheese, aubergines and sun-dried tomatoes! Definitely a place to bring the boyfriend so you can share dishes.

Le Fumoir, 6 Rue de L’Amiral Coligny, 75001, Paris  (Metro: Louvre-Rivoli)

Le FumoirLe FumoirLe FumoirIl y’a déjà deux ans que je suis arrivée à Paris et même si depuis mon arrivée on me parle du fameux restaurant Le Fumoir à Louvre-Rivoli, je n’avais jamais encore eu l’opportunité de le tester.  C’est donc avec grand plaisir que j’ai accepté un rendez-vous avec ma collègue (il faut dire que jamais je n’ai été aussi enthousiaste pour une réunion de travail).

Alors, que pourrais-je vous dire de ce magnifique restaurant, dans un super cadre juste en face du Musée du Louvre ? Je l’adore ce restaurant. Menu gourmand, musique discrète et sophistiquée, même les boissons sans alcool sont un régale (vous voyez, le cliché de la petite anglaise bourrée n’est pas toujours juste) !

Malgré son emplacement au cœur du 1er arrondissement de Paris, Le Fumoir a quand même réussi à éviter l’étiquette du lieu touristique car s’il y’a une chose que j’ai appris ici a Paris c’est qu’un vrai Parisien évite a tout prix les endroits rempli de touristes.

Chic et décontracté, Le Fumoir a trouver l’équilibre parfait entre élégance et prix abordables sans l’ambiance prétentieuse que l’on trouve souvent dans des restaurants similaires. Et pour le menu ? Je peux vous dire que mes yeux ont tout de suite flashé sur le sandwich homard et je n’étais pas du tout déçu en voyant mon plat arrivé… même si la tartine fromage de chèvre, aubergine et tomates séchées de ma collègue me paraissait super appétissant.  Notez bien cette adresse pour un repas en amoureux, l’occasion idéale pour partager les plats.

Le Fumoir , 6 rue de l’ Amiral Coligny , 75001 , Paris ( Métro: Louvre – Rivoli )

Christian Louboutin Nail Polish Collection

Christian Louboutin nail polish sale beauty cosmeticsChristian Louboutin nail polish sale beauty cosmetics

Having heard all the hype surrounding Christian Louboutin‘s launch into the beauty industry, I was very excited to get up close and personal with the stunning nail polish collection this weekend at the Printemps mall in Paris. As is to be expected with all things Louboutin, this collection is nothing short of majestic and I’m actually more drawn by the design of the nail polish bottle than the quality and colour of the product itself!

And for the inspiration behind this new venture into the world of cosmetics, it’s actually pretty simple as Christian Louboutin explains,

The red sole was born from red nail polish. I am giving back to beauty what the shoes took from the nails many years ago.’

No surprise then that the star of the collection is a dramatic red to match the shade of the designer’s iconic red soles but more unusual is the slightly terrifying weapon-like lid which measures exactly 20,5 cm, the same height as Christian Louboutin’s highest heel designed for the brand… Quite literally a killer heel!

I tested out the star product, Rouge Louboutin, and honestly… I really, really didn’t want to like it (I mean, it’s a nail polish that costs more than my week’s food supply!) but actually I kind of loved it! The colour is gorgeous, the quality is second to none, no second coat necessary, and the design is spectacular, a total work of art.

So there you have it, I am now starving for a week but with one hell of a new sculpture!

Find the full collection of colours, including the Rouge Louboutin online and in selected stores now for £36 / 45 euros.

Christian Louboutin nail polish sale beauty cosmeticsChristian Louboutin nail polish sale beauty cosmetics

EOS Pink Product to #FightBreastCancer

EOS lip balm hand cream Despite spending my life travelling between London and Paris, it actually took a cruise trip to the Norwegian Fjords for me to first get my hands on an EOS lip balm! I’m still not clear why these incredibly popular lip balms are almost impossible to find in two of Europe’s most famous shopping destinations. Having more or less devoured my Sweet Mint EOS balm, I was desperate to get my hands on a replacement and that’s when I came across the perfect pink product for October’s Breast Cancer Awareness Month… a little EOS kit which includes the brand’s iconic sphere lip balm in Pomegranate Raspberry, the Berry Blossom hand lotion and a limited edition Strawberry Sorbet stick lip balm (perfect for carrying around with you)!

If you haven’t already heard of EOS (where have you been living?!!) then you should definitely try to get your hands on these gorgeous little spheres of nourishing lip goodness which are packed with shea butter, antioxidants and natural conditioning oils to help keep lips super-soft and delightfully smooth!

Update: I’ve just discovered that Urban Outfitters now stock a decent range of EOS products online including the all new shaving foam!

EOS lip balm hand cream EOS lip balm hand cream

Warm & Spicy with L’Artisan Parfumeur

L'Artisan Parfumeur flash sale vente privee online shop

Am I the only person excited about autumn? It seems like everyone around me absolutely resents this awful season which officially closes the summer holidays, taking away the sunshine and bringing rain and frosty weather in its place. I don’t know if it’s just me but I love the fall months when the leaves start to turn fiery red and orange, scarfs and chunky knits start to re-appear and evenings are spent snuggled on the sofa with warm drinks and pumpkin pie! Summer who?

I also have this ritual of changing fragrances at the start of a new season; citrus fruits and mint for spring, coconut and vanilla for summer and these beautiful new fragrances from L’Artisan Parfumeur which have arrived just in time for the fall/winter crossover!

Poivre Piquant is a curious blend which I don’t think I would have tried based on the name alone. The thought of spicy pepper as a main ingredient in a fragrance doesn’t appeal to me immediately but actually that’s where I was very wrong. The scent is very delicate with soft notes of milk, honey, licorice and sugar which are then lifted by the unexpected top notes of white pepper… a perfect autumn fragrance!

I also fell for the sweeter scent Seville a L’Aube, a fragrance which is more along the lines of my usual perfumes with white floral and citrus notes but unlike my usual citrus scents, Seville a L’Aube has added depth with middle notes of tobacco and lavender which create warmth in the fragrance.

Both these fragrances are perfect for autumn/winter to complement a cosy outfit and the stunning candles in the sale also come in all four seasons so you can choose the one which best suits your personality… I couldn’t resist the beautiful packaging, each candle has been handmade by a ceramicist and I thought the pretty rustic silver finish was perfectly matched to winter making it the ideal Christmas gift.

Today there is even a sale of L’Artisan Parfumeur on vente-privee with up to 65% off and all these products are featured so it’s the perfect time to kick start some Chrismtas shopping!

L'Artisan Parfumeur flash sale vente privee online shop L'Artisan Parfumeur flash sale vente privee online shop L'Artisan Parfumeur flash sale vente privee online shop L'Artisan Parfumeur flash sale vente privee online shop


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